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Global Peanut Butter Warning: Salmonella-Tainted Product Recalled In 60 Countries

By William C. Mann, Associated Press

February 27, 2007

WASHINGTON (AP) – Tainted peanut butter that caused salmonella in 41 of the 50 U.S. states also was sold in more than 60 other countries on three other continents and islands in the Caribbean and the Pacific, the manufacturer says.

It was sold in Iraq, Iceland, India, American Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, Netherlands Antilles, South Korea, Singapore, Brazil, Belize, Africa, Europe, and South America.

Stephanie Childs, a spokeswoman for the manufacturer, ConAgra Foods Inc., said Monday that word of the problem with the tainted peanut butter has gone out everywhere peanut butter is sold under the Peter Pan and Great Value label: If the top on the jar has a number starting with ''2111,'' do not eat it.

''This is a full recall, including all the product,'' Childs said.

The code designates the packing plant where the product originated, in Sylvester, Ga. Georgia produces about 40 percent of the U.S. yield of peanuts.

In the U.S., the tainted peanut butter has been blamed for sickening 329 people in 41 states since August. Salmonella is a bacterium found in feces that can cause severe diarrhea.

During the weekend, China announced a recall of the peanut butter. The official Xinhua news agency said three batches of the two brands were imported between September and January, totaling 742 cases.

The agency said at least 156 cases already had been sold in Beijing, and even though the lids had the suspect code, no one had reported being sickened by the peanut butter.

ConAgra's Web site advises consumers who identify the possibly tainted product from its lid to discard it, saving the lid or label to submit for a refund. Those should be mailed to distributors listed for each country on the Web site, the company said.

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